Interesting Facts about the Cant You Dance The Polka (C F Smith version)
“Cant You Dance The Polka (C F Smith version)” was a popular capstan shanty on both American and British ships. This version comes from “A Book Of Shanties” by Cicely Fox Smith (1927), Stan Hugill mention this version because he recognized different melodies in the verse. Her description of this beautiful song given by Cicely Fox Smith:
“This is, of course, a song of the Liverpool emigrant days. Mr. Tapscott, whose name occurs in several shanties, was the Liverpool agent for some of the American packet companies. The name of the ship varies according to the singer’s fancy–sometimes the “Henry Clay” is given, sometimes another–and the name of the dock, too, is not always the same.”
The song will be reconstructed by myself as the capstan shanty.
The source of the Cant You Dance The Polka (C F Smith version)
The music: “A Book Of Shanties” by Cicely Fox Smith (1927) (1st ed p 68).
The lyrics: “A Book Of Shanties” by Cicely Fox Smith (1927) (1st ed p 67 – 69).
Mentioned in: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 373).
The Record of this sea shanty
You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.
The musical notation
The full lyrics
Cant You Dance The Polka (C F Smith version)
One day as I went walking
Down by the Clarence Dock,
It was there I spied an Irish girl
Conversing with Tapscott!
– And away, you santy,
– My dear honey,
– Oh! you New York girls,
– Can’t you dance the polka!
* 2 *
“Good morning, Mr. Tapscott!
Good morning, Sir,” said she,
“And have you got a packet ship
To carry me across the sea?”
* 3 *
“Oh yes,” said Mr. Tapscott,
“I have ships of mighty fame,
And one now in the Waterloo Dock,
And the ‘Dreadnought’ is her name.”
* 4 *
Oh my flash man is a packet rat,
He sails in the Black Ball Line,
And he’s a saucy son of a gun
That will hurt that man of mine.
* 5 *
I went to the Fulton ferry
But I couldn’t get acress,
So I jumped on the back of a ferryboat man
And rode him like a hoss!